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How online courses can save you money versus attending a ‘real’ university

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The cost of living is rising everywhere, and it is now harder than ever to be a student as tuition costs also continue to increase. We are all feeling the squeeze, but oftentimes students are left with little choice but to take out loans in order to finish their education and thereby improve their employment prospects. 

One thing students can do to cut down on costs is to opt for distance or online learning. The Covid-19 pandemic showed the world that every course and degree can be taught online just as well as it can be taught in person, and now the distance education sector is experiencing a huge amount of growth. 

So, what are the different ways an online degree can save you money? 

Tuition 

This is the biggest and arguably the most obvious way in which online learning saves money. As online schools do not need to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of entire campuses, buildings and labs, tuition tends to be significantly cheaper. 

That does not mean that the degrees themselves are worth any less however or that they are any easier to complete. For example, the online PhD in nursing programs available at Wilkes University are every bit as rigorous and academically intense as any other nursing PhD program that is completed via in-person teaching. 

Commuting costs 

Another cost saved is commuting. Very few people live within walking or cycling distance of their university. As a result, many people need to either take public transport or drive to school every day. 

Public transport can be expensive as even weekly or monthly transit passes tend to add up. However, the costs of owning a car, including car payments, insurance, gas and maintenance, dwarf the costs associated with public transport. 

Online education takes place wherever is most convenient for the learner. For most people, that will be at home. This means that you will not have to spend anything on transport or commuting costs. 

Renting and accommodations 

Universities tend to be located close to cities and towns and, as a result, the rent also tends to be quite expensive. The fact that thousands of students also want to live within commuting distance to a school can also drive demand up and increase rental prices. 

Learning online allows the student to live wherever they want and wherever they can afford, which is much more convenient and cost-effective. 

Daily expenses 

Finally, the daily expenses of learning on campus can really add up. These are easy expenses to ignore or forget about, but if you look at your costs at the end of the month, they can be quite high. 

Some of these expenses include coffee, snacks, meals, stationery and printing. If you are extremely well organized you may always bring a lunch and coffee to class from home, but most of us are not quite organized enough to avoid buying coffee or lunch out at least once a week. 

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